Colossians 4:12 (NIV)
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.
As we saw in yesterday’s devotional, God is always on the lookout for intercessors. He’s always seeking somebody to “stand in the gap” between Him and a person, a situation or a group of people. All He needs is one person is who is sold out to Him; one person who is willing and obedient!
The Bible tells us “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NLT).
To intercede is to place oneself in someone else’s position and entreat and beseech God on their behalf. You can also intercede for a city or nation. In Genesis 18 we see Abraham interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah. However, one of the most powerful illustrations of how intercessory prayer should be done is found in our Bible verse for today. We don’t know a lot about the gentleman known as Epaphras save that he was a Christian, a member of the Colossian Church, and a faithful minister of Christ (Colossians 1:7; 4:12). When Paul was a prisoner in Rome, he described him as his “fellow prisoner” (Philemon 1:23). Paul bears witness to his faithful work of service in Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis (Colossians 4:12-13).
Paul says that Epaphras was “always wrestling in prayer” for the Colossians, that they may “stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” The King James Version says he was “always labouring fervently” for them in prayers, while the God Word Translation says he “always prays intensely” for them!
According to Scofield Reference Notes, our Bible verse for today is “A touching illustration of priestly service. Shut up in prison, no longer able to preach, Epaphras was still, equally with all believers, a priest. No prison could keep him from the throne of grace, he gave himself wholly to the priestly work of intercession.” What an awesome example of an intercessor ~ He wasn’t praying to be released from prison; instead he was wrestling with God in prayer that the Colossians may be perfect and complete in all the will of God!
Have you ever wrestled in prayer with God for somebody else? Somebody who may not even be aware that you’re praying passionately for them! When was the last time you “laboured fervently” in prayer for someone else? Have you ever taken it upon yourself to pray “intensely” for somebody else?
Thank You FATHER God, for the gift of intercessory prayer. Help me to be a faithful intercessor, so that like Epaphras I would labour intensely in the place of intercessory prayer. In Jesus’ Name I pray. AMEN.
READ THE BIBLE THROUGH IN A YEAR
If you follow our daily reading schedule below, you will read the Bible through in 1 year!
- Obadiah 1:1-21
- Revelation 4:1-11
- Psalm 132:1-18
- Proverbs 29:24-25
© Pedro Okoro, Blogger, Editor, Everyday With the Lord; Award-Winning Author of “CRUSHING THE DEVIL”. You can follow Pedro on Twitter: Twitter.com/PedroOkoro